Self-abandoned, relaxed, and effortless

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (Chap. 26) | Genius

Quotation: My eyes were covered and closed: eddying darkness seemed to swim round me, and reflection came in as black and confused a flow. Self-abandoned, relaxed, and effortless, I seemed to have laid me down in the dried-up bed of a great river; I heard a flood loosened in remote mountains, and felt the torrent come: to rise I had no will, to flee I had no strength. I lay faint, longing to be dead.

Context: Jane had known her bridegroom, Mr. R, was married.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. I try to interpret it as below. Is it correct?

self-abandoned: abandoned by oneself especially : given up to one's impulses
to relax => 3 : to deprive of energy, zeal, or strength of purpose
effortless => Making no effort. 1.1 Abstaining from effort, passive, tame.

the whole part => I yield myself to my unreasoning impulse, was deprived of energy and made no effort
 
  • goldenband

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I think you've done a good job of paraphrasing it. :) She's about to be hit by the full realization of the horrible turn her life has suddenly taken, and -- like a person lying semi-conscious in the path of a flood -- she has no power to avoid it. She's completely crushed and, as it says earlier, her "hopes were all dead".
     

    goldenband

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I would add that Brontë's language is unusual, and almost implies that there's something liberating about the feeling -- as if, in the act of giving up all hope, she feels suddenly free. It reminds me of descriptions of severely depressed people who, once they decide to commit suicide in the near future, suddenly feel like a burden has been lifted and become much happier.
     
    I would add that Brontë's language is unusual, and almost implies that there's something liberating about the feeling
    I agree. A number of writers have referred to this passage and to passages in George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss and have associated the release of the flood with the notion of the release of wrongly repressed female passion. She can try to deny her love for Rochester, but...
     
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